As Prince of Wales, George IV first visited Brighton in 1783, aged 21, partly on the recommendation of his doctors who thought that the sea water might ease the swellings in the glands of his neck. He also found the relaxed atmosphere of the town a welcome relief from the constraints of the staid and stifling court of his father, George III. The Prince's Royal Pavilion grew over 35 years from a simple farmhouse to a spectacular palace. In 1787 Henry Holland extended the original farmhouse into a neo-classical building know as the 'Marine Pavilion'. From 1815-1823 John Nash used new technology to transform the Pavilion into the Indian style building that exists today.
Part of a Designated Collection of national importance is on display at this venue.
Museum, Historic house or home
October to March 10am–5.15pm (last tickets at 4.30pm)
April to September 9.30am–5.45pm (last tickets at 5pm)
Closed 24 December (from 2.30pm) and all day on 25 and 26 December
Child (5-15) £6.20
2 adults with up to 2 children £29.20
1 adult with up to 2 children £17.70
Concessions (ID required) £9.50
Seniors (60 or over) £9.50
Disabled £9.50 (accompanying carer Free)
B&H Residents £5.75
- Museums Association
- National Art Pass
- English Heritage
- International Council of Museums
Part of Brighton & Hove Museums' Designated Collection of Decorative Art, which you can also see at Hove Museum & Art Gallery, Brighton Museum & Art Gallery and Preston Manor, is on display here. Please contact Brighton Museums for more information if you wish to see a specific item.
The collections of decorative arts include the Regency furniture and silver-gilt displayed in the Royal Pavilion, the Macquoid furniture at Preston Manor, the Willett Collection of ceramics illustrating popular history, and outstanding holdings of British and European 20th century decorative design and craft.
The Royal Pavilion's lavish interiors combine Chinese-style decorations with magnificent furniture and furnishings. Adorned with gilded dragons, carved palm trees and imitation bamboo staircases, the Palace's magnificent furniture and furnishings.
Adorned with gilded dragons, carved palm trees and imitation bamboo staircases, the Palace's unique style mixes Asian exoticism with English eccentricity. Daring and inventive colours feature throughout, and there are many original items on loan from HM The Queen.
Social History, Personalities, Music, Fine Art, Decorative and Applied Art, Costume and Textiles, Archives, Architecture
Key artists and exhibits
- Designated Collection
Indian Military Hospital Gallery
- 18 November 2014 — 31 December 2018 *on now
The Royal Pavilion served as a hospital for Indian Soldiers during WW1.
From December 1914 to February 1916, the Royal Pavilion was offered for use as a hospital for troops from the Indian Corps wounded on the Western Front in France and Flanders during World War I. Paintings, archive photographs, contemporary accounts and film footage recall in vivid form a remarkable and often forgotten story from Brighton’s history.
Free with normal admission charge to the Royal Pavilion.
The Royal Pavilion as a Hospital for Limbless Soldiers
- 20 April 2016 — 1 April 2020 *on now
A display about the 6,000 amputee soldiers who received treatment, rehabilitation and training at the Royal Pavilion during the First World War.
Visions of the Royal Pavilion Estate
- 14 March — 3 September 2017 *on now
This display showcases rarely-seen views of the Royal Pavilion Estate dating back to the 1760s, as well as cutting-edge digital reconstructions of how it might have looked.
Illustrations from the earliest printed books about the estate will sit beside unrealised designs, early municipal maps and 20th century plans and images.
Free with admission
Jane Austen By The Sea
- 17 June 2017 — 8 January 2018
The display will reassess Austen’s relationship with the town in the light of a long-term misunderstanding, arising from a hand-written letter of 8 January 1799. Curator Dr Alexandra Loske said: “For many years, Austen has been quoted as having written: ‘I assure you that I dread the idea of going to Brighton as much as you can do..’, but her sentence actually referred to Bookham, a village in Surrey, rather than Brighton. We now know that Austen may not have felt as negatively about the town as has been thought.”
Walking Dress, 1818 Fashion plate from Ackermann’s Repository of Arts.., University of Sussex, Special Collections
Photo: James Pike
Jane Austen by the Sea will look at the seaside context of Austen’s plots and paint a picture of the leading resort of Brighton in the early 1800s, when it was a fashionable ‘watering place’ featured in novels like Pride and Prejudice.
George IV, who created the Royal Pavilion and spent long periods living there when he was Prince Regent, was a high-profile fan of Austen’s – and although she seemed not to approve of his lifestyle she was encouraged to dedicate Emma to him in 1815.
- Any age
Child (5-15) £7.50
4-5 Pavilion Buildings
Brighton & Hove